The season of mellow fruitfulness is upon us, a time to enjoy the bounties of our labour, and plan for seasons to come. With the first frosts this week another gardening year has begun, and after a very successful spring and summer, much thought and work is going into ensuring that the gardens remain productive, manageable, and beautiful. Continue reading
In the last quarter we’ve organised a series of community clean-up events, tackling all the major parks in our neighbourhood. Thanks to funding from Vegware we’ve been able to promote these events more widely, and provide hot Soup and Rolls, supplied by local social enterprise Out of the Blue, and delivered by bike, to volunteers at all of these events. You can see photos from these events here (we’ve still got Pilrig Park to go!) http://www.flickr.com/photos/greenerleith/sets/72157625210437446/show/ Continue reading
On the 6th of October I will be giving an assembly to St Mary Magdalen Primary School in Brighton. The assembly will bring the schools attention to the Eco club which starts in the New Year. The club will include a composting scheme, turning the school’s waste into a resource! Both initiatives will help the school gain a Green Flag Eco School Award.
September has been dramatic for us. On 4th Sept we got planning permission for our site, so we can now erect compost toilets, polytunnels, shelters and containers for office & storage (as we get the money for them!). Continue reading
We continued to plan materials for our course ‘How to Transform an Ornamental Garden into a Food Forest’ which we will be running initially for four Thursdays, beginning on 9th September 2010 ,12 – 4pm, at the Hope St Garden. Cost will be £6 / session or £20 / full course.
This further enhances our links with the Chapel who have proved supportive. We were able to repay this in kind by offering a letter of support for their grant application to the Heritage Lottery Fund, in which we were cited as principal partner organisation on the garden development.
We began harvesting seed for the seed savers network and produced a bulletin for our currently small group. Routine maintenance of the community orchard at Callis Mill began in preparation for ‘Apple Day’ events in October.
This month Green up your Act is installing a two tier composting system for D and D Herbs who supply local restaurants with organically grown ingredients. Situated at Stanmer Organics the method will help Doug the owner to produce soil-enriching compost for his organic herb business. This arrangement will also provide Green up your act with a ready supply of compost to use in school and other projects.
In August our two graduate interns from Nottingham University – Niranjan Parayogasingam and Andrea Ferdinands – began work with us. They have been awarded to us for 8 weeks and are helping us do lots of preparatory work, researching information, writing our policies and risk assessments, getting quotes for bids etc. It has been a great boost to us.
We have been submitting funding bids, and holding meetings with organisations (like probation, MENCAP, Remploy, Seetec, Job Centre Plus, Intraining) looking to place people with us. We should be well-placed to meet their demands when we are up and running.
The visitors of the Young Peoples Center in Brighton are learning how to make a recycled plastic bottle structure to house their rhubarb and tomato plants. The warmth from the shelter will enhance the plants growth. When ready the vegetables will be prepared and cooked giving the participants an extended knowledge of growing and enjoying seasonal food, and recycling.
RHUBARB FARM Update for August
We submitted our planning application at the beginning of July. With 39 accompanying documents (as we were asking for polytunnel, car park, signage, erection of sheds and containers for office space) we were relieved it was deemed complete and we will get a decision by 10th September. We had to take a deep breath when we paid the planning fee of £1,965 and are now well in the red! On 5th August we have two graduate interns starting work with us for 8 weeks – awarded to us free by Nottingham University – we are really looking forward to them helping us with more preparation for becoming operational. We are also going through a commissioning process for £48,000 of Working Neighbourhoods Fund money, which is being arranged through the Bolsover Local Strategic Partnership. Success in getting this funding, the signing of our leases, and a positive outcome to the planning application will mean we can employ our first staff and actually become operational on our 8 acre site. We envisage this should be in late September/early October. Then we can get our portaloos on site, as funded by the Vegware Community Fund. The biggest hurdle after this is getting funding for fencing – we need 905 metres of close weld mesh, for the security of our buildings, polytunnel and crops.
The gardens have benefited from the help of a number of corporate team challenges throughout July. These have focused on tasks including Rabbit fencing the vegetable gardens, and developing features that will be shown in the Beechgrove Garden programme to be filmed between 9th and 11th August.